Grameen Foundation has been empowering the poor and poorest in the Americas since 1999. We believe there is immense untapped potential throughout the region, especially in rural communities, and focus on people living in remote rural and highly agrarian areas. In 2011, we launched the Last Mile Initiative (PDF), a five-year campaign designed to help 1 million poor people living in rural Latin America improve their lives.
We use mobile technology to improve access to information, which can expand agricultural capacity, support health and food security initiatives, and enhance the provision of financial services. Our initiatives include mobile-based technical assistance and monitoring and evaluation tools for microfinance and poverty-reduction organizations. In addition, we work with a range of implementing partners in the coffee and horticultural sectors, and are collaborating with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to promote farming innovation.
Our work is supported by donors including Chiapas International and David and Susan Russell, MasterCard WorldWide, Citi Foundation and Ford Foundation. Additionally, we provide much-needed financing for rural farming cooperatives through the Fairtrade Access Fund, which is sponsored by Grameen Foundation, Fairtrade International and Incofin Investment Management.
Moving forward, we will focus on expanding access to financial services for the poor and fully integrating smallholder farmers into commercially oriented agricultural networks.
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In 2011 Grameen Foundation established an office in Medellín to move closer to those we work to empower — the poor and poorest.
In collaboration with our partner in Guatemala, CRECER, Grameen Foundation is helping smallholder farmer organizations to gather more information about their members and improve services and compliance with certification requirements.